SCCI Vice Presidents’ Meeting

The SCCI Vice Presidents’ Meeting was held virtually on December 9, 2022 at 3.30 p.m. (IST). The meeting was called on by Mr. Iftikhar Ali Malik, President SCCI, with the objective of discussing the matters related to the renewal of recognition of SCCI and the handover of SCCI Presidency from Pakistan to the next country, Bhutan.

Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Butt, Acting Secretary General SCCI, welcomed the respected participants and officially commenced the meeting. The meeting was attended by Mr. Iftikhar Ali Malik, President SCCI, Mr. Dasho Ugen Tsechup Dorji, Senior Vice President SCCI / Chair of the Committee on SCCI Recognition, Mr. Vinod Juneja, Vice President (India) SCCI, Mr. Chandi Raj Dhakal, Vice President (Nepal) SCCI, Mr. Haji Ghulam Ali, Vice President (Pakistan) SCCI, Dr. M. Rohitha Silva, Vice President (Sri Lanka) SCCI, Mr. Zubair Ahmed Malik, EC Member (Pakistan) SCCI and Mr. Ruwan Edirisinghe, Immediate Past President SCCI / EC Member (Sri Lanka) SCCI.

Mr. Iftikhar Ali Malik, President SCCI, in his opening remarks, mentioned that the SCCI Headquarters Building has almost been completed, hence the SCCI Secretariat has been operating at the SCCI Headquarters Building since the beginning of 2022. He emphasized that the SCCI Headquarters Building has almost been completed because of the efforts of the Leadership of SCCI Headquarters Building Project Committee and the generosity of the Pakistani Government.

Mr. Dasho Ugen Tsechup Dorji, Senior Vice President SCCI / Chair of the Committee on SCCI Recognition, appreciated Mr. Iftikhar Ali Malik, President SCCI, for striving hard to complete the state-of-the-art SCCI Headquarter Building and for his great service for SCCI since its inception.

During the meeting, it was discussed that the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) together with Mr. Vinod Juneja, Vice President (India) SCCI should try their best to get the support of the Ministry of External Affairs of India for the renewal of SCCI recognition at the Meeting of the Council of SAARC Foreign Ministers and the Standing Committee. It was further emphasised that the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FNCCI) together with Mr. Chandi Raj Dhakal, Vice President (Nepal) SCCI should try their best to urge the SAARC Secretariat, based in Nepal, to take necessary and effective steps for organizing the Meeting of the Council of SAARC Foreign Ministers and the Standing Committee at the earliest possible time.

During the meeting, Vice President SCCI (Sri Lanka), Dr. Rohitha Silva invited President SCCI and all Vice Presidents to Colombo at the SAARC Tourism Forum (SAARC Tourism Ministers / Foreign Ministers Congress) in February/March 2023 focusing on promoting the South Asian tourism industry. It was suggested that the same platform could be used for lobbying the SAARC member governments to support SCCI in terms of receiving the renewal of recognition from SAARC as an apex body.

The 38th SAARC Charter Day was co-organized by SCCI and the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) in partnership with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) on December 13, 2022 in Marriott Hotel, Islamabad, Pakistan.

The event commenced with the welcome address of Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, President of FPCCI. During the address, he emphasized “Pakistan is dedicated to achieving economic, social, and cultural development by addressing common challenges such as poverty, unemployment, terrorism, transnational crime, and climate change.” He further added, “as a result, I am confident that our region will emerge as a driving force in the global economy.”

The chief guest of the event was Hon’ble Haji Ghulam Ali, Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (KPK) and Vice President (Pakistan) SCCI. Addressing on this occasion, he stated “regional cooperation remains an important factor to bring peace and affluence within South Asia and beyond. Let us all reunite and recommit to achieving the shared goal of a peaceful and prosperous South Asia”. He insisted the SAARC member countries come forward to pool their resources, for providing a better future to the people of South Asia through the platform provided by SAARC.

Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Butt, Acting Secretary General SCCI, in his concluding remarks, thanked all distinguished guests for their presence. He stated that the combined economy of SAARC is the 5th largest in the world in terms of GDP. He further added, “over 30 percent of its population is young, which makes it the most youthful region in the world. The region has more than 350+ Giga Watt hydroelectric potential which can change the fate of the region.”

The 38th SAARC Charter Day celebration was also attended by the diplomatic missions of SAARC countries including, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka along with the representatives of SAARC Arbitration Council, SAARC Energy Center, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan. The leaders of the business community including the President of Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (RCCI), Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI), Rawalpindi Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry (RWCCI), and representatives of civil society and media took part at the event.